Greenkote Plc announced the opening of its first European overseas plant in Germany. The 450 square meter Bavarian-based facility can process 200 kg of coated parts an hour, and has ample room to expand to meet the increasing demand both from Europe and the U.S.
Greenkote expects this new plant to accelerate the licensing of its technology to several European companies with which it is already in discussion. It complements the group’s existing Israeli-based facility, operated by Greenkote (Israel) Limited, the company’s subsidiary, which continues to supply existing markets.
The company’s expansion is being driven by new EU directives which are mandating replacement of the commonly used hexavalent chromium by the eco-friendly zinc aluminium alloy coating already employed by Greenkote. These rules are already in force in the automotive industry and will become law in the electrical and electronic industries in 2006.
At the same time, demand from the Chinese market has pushed up the price of metals such as chromium, zinc and stainless steel by 60-70% and this is creating a demand for the more economically priced "simple" steel improved by one of Greenkote’s coatings, according to the company. A spin-off from this is that new environmentally friendly liquids must now be used for cleaning coatings. These liquids attack most traditional coatings, but Greenkote’s products are devised to be used with such fluids.
Although the company’s main marketing thrust is within the automotive industry, it is also concentrating on non-automotive processors.
"Our product still retains its leadership in the 'eco' coating segment,"
said Arie Laor, chief executive. "We continue to offer better cost/performance benefits than our competitors in coatings for the automotive, construction and general industry. We are also well advanced in R&D for a coating suitable for rubber moulding. The results are currently being evaluated by a major Tier 1 supplier."